Two very basic fundamentals of our life in Colombia merged once again this past week – family and mission teams. We have hosted mission teams that have been led by our daughter and son-in-law on two different occasions, so one aspect of family and teams had already been a blessing to our ministry and to the Pacto in Colombia. This past week we hosted a mission/work team from the Libertyville Covenant Church in IL, while at the same time, hosting two of our daughters and three of our grandchildren. Our daughters had had a dream of visiting Colombia together with their children and found a way to pull it off this year. Libertyville Covenant had been talking about investing in, and being blessed by, a mission trip. It all worked out that they came to Medellin at the same time and we were here to host them, accompany them in ministry and be grandparents and parents all at the same time.
Since each of the different aspects of this joint experience are fundamental to our life as missionaries, and even though many might think that hosting family and mission teams is not something that you should do at the same time, we knew that having everyone here together would add height and depth and breadth to everyone’s experience of God. We just didn’t know how that height and depth and breadth would play itself out.
The breadth played itself out in the fact that all logistical challenges were taken care of – food, housing, transportation, etc. As well, we were able to broaden the involvement of our family by adding grandchildren to our hosting experience of mission teams where before we always included our children.
The height played itself out in the fact that nothing was too big to try and nothing was too hard to not accomplish. We partnered with the Covenant Elementary school, with an outreach to single mothers in a displaced neighborhood, and with the Casa de Paz boy’s home. We brought three days of English language learning through Bible stories, five days of soccer playing and building relationships with the boys and those in the neighborhood, three afternoons of construction work, and one afternoon of encouragement on the power of women praying.
The depth played itself out in the fact that everyone got to know and see Colombia through different eyes – our children and grandchildren through the eyes of first-time (but not last) mission partners. Our Libertyville Mission partners were able to see and know Colombia through the eyes of our daughters, who had spent many years here and were able to talk of deep love and respect for Colombia, the people and the Pacto.